By Linda Bordoni
A three day meeting in the Mexican border town of Matamoros, from 30 August to 1 September, resulted in a joint statement signed by the Mexican and US bishops who expressed their concern for the situation of inequality and violence suffered by migrants and committed to continue to defend the human rights of the poor.
Matamoros, which is located on the southern bank of the Rio Grande directly across the border from Brownsville Texas, is touched first-hand by the drama of so many Latin American migrants who find themselves rejected by US authorities when they ask for asylum or are subjected to long and insecure processes without guarantees of protection.
“We bishops of the border between Texas and Mexico,” the statement reads, “reaffirm that we are in favor of the life, dignity and rights of all people”.
Concern for inequality, violence, discrimination, danger
“For this reason,” it continues, “we cannot help but express our concern for the situation of inequality, violence and poverty that pushes many to leave their land, while during their journey they face all kinds of dangers, and are subjected to great neglect and abandonment.”
The bishops highlight the drama of the families being separated and the inhumane imprisonment that many suffer in the detention centers. They say they are “saddened by an increase of racism, hatred and discrimination and by the fact that migrants are seen as invaders and criminals”.
“We are hurt by the drama suffered by deportees who see their dreams, efforts and sacrifices cut short and who return home without money and with debts they have contracted in dangerous conditions. It fills us with mourning that many, in search of a better future, have lost their lives”.
The rights of children and adolescents
The border bishops pledge to continue to defend "the human rights of the poor and migrants, especially those of children and adolescents."
And before concluding with the promise to continue to provide relief to migrants in need, they remind the governments of the USA, Mexico, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean of the urgent need to create the conditions in which everyone has the possibility to pursue “integral development and a life of dignity and peace”.